The Indiscriminate Nature of Joy

A visit to the Doctor’s office was feeling mediocre at best, with a side trip to the office’s parking lot where Rowan wanted to romp amongst parked cars.  As I stepped outside to behold a vista of Honda and Subarus, I sighed at the landscape knowing today’s fresh air would be with the tires and asphalt.  As I trotted to keep up with Rowan a major difference between us struck me:  me = discriminating.  Rowan = non-discriminating.  Like a quick thud of realization descending upon my head, I flash awareness that really this parking lot too is sublime, or at least it can be in the heart of the beholder.

I began to muse about when the human conditioning for discrimination between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘interesting’ and ‘not interesting’ emerges in the spectrum of human development.  Right now the world is the proverbial oyster for Rowan, with almost everything inciting glee and wonder.  I’ve been subtly dragging my heels at his vast taste for trucks and car wheels of late, and his keen attention to such facets of reality as carbon polluted black snow on road sides while out for a walk, or shards of broken glass or ripped up paper in recycling bins.  He makes me look more closely at everything I’d otherwise gloss over with relative disinterest, my eyes conditioned to call some things beautiful and other things ordinary.

All of the sudden the parking lot becomes the vehicle for seeing the moon, sky and trees in the same light as that parked SUV with a crack in the window and rusted tailpipe.  Why differentiate?  How did the parking lot become sub par and cast off as a place to tune out, ignore?  Rowan brings his fresh, alive perspective just about anywhere, seeing the infinite possibilities for pleasure in unlikely places.  He reminds me that the sublime is everywhere to be found, as long as I cross the threshold of wonder into non-discriminating joy in each moment’s infinite expanse of possibility.

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Dynamic Juggling, Disorientation & the Present Moment

Taking stock of the transitions of my life over the past two years, a part of me feels utterly untethered and disoriented.  There is a certain chaos of living a new pace that has not been my own – meaning, the pace of motherhood and the pace of my little toddler.  All the rhythms of my days are new.  The pace at which I move is new.  Everything is different now and my task is to find ‘home’ in this new place.  I find the familiar ballast through Yoga, applying my will towards placing my body in positions I trust, not knowing what I need or even what I am looking for – just knowing I need to open something and shift.   All the while, my immediate family showers blessings upon me even in my experience of being astray.

I find my old self through delicate encounters of quietness throughout the day – a quiet moment before sleep, pause in eating, slow steps overlooking Lake Dillon as clouds part.  The existential drama of life is the backdrop of my days – constant gaze at mountains looking for the Sublime, the artful, the spirit-filled, which is ultimately everywhere.  I simply venture into and with it in a new way now that I walk a different tempo with my son.  Now the key is to join gaze and heart with the divine awareness of the Sacred, even when I feel disoriented, moving at mock speed.

When the pace of life moves quickly, how quickly gifts pass with my just barely noticing.  I bury my head in the newspaper as the canyon drifts by (quiet moment in car while Rowan sleeps), aspen leaves resplendent in golden light.  I take for granted that their splendor will remain another day for me to cherish, and now after a heavy rain they are gone – so quickly and so cliche, just like life.  Sometimes the beauty of life’s moments is too much to bear.  Not only the gorgeous colors of a transient Fall, but the astounding preciousness of Rowan’s skips and kisses and smiles.  If we open ourselves to truly honoring the small gifts given in a day’s time, all barriers to living into life’s preciousness can dissolve with a little hand’s touch.  So quickly these moments pass, leaving an imprint like soft pressure of wet leaves on the sidewalk – those temporary yet colorful patterned marks visible for only a short time.

The lesson is this:  rest now, not wanting for anything other than what is.  Drop into whatever pace and rhythm arises, as nothing will look or feel this way again even in a few moments.  It’s all to be cherished, mindfully – feelings of disorientation notwithstanding.  Everywhere the triggers to snap out of stupor lie – and yet, so too a thick blanket of resistance manifested in the likes of heavy eyes too tired for the bidding of seeing anew.  Instead, as parents (and human beings in general) we can resist this trend and choose to live our days with even fuller participation.  We can land into a refined, brighter, more dynamic participation in the Here and Now (especially since we as parents are even more capable than before of juggling multiple hats).  Motherhood invites us into a sacred sphere where we can choose to juggle all that is required of us with dynamic, focused attention to detail, all the while aware of life’s sublime invitations into the splendor of small luminosities of the present moment.  With sharper seeing and a more quickly attuned response time, there is no somnolence here, unless we turn our heart away from the loud claps of wakefulness that chasing a little one beckons.  Awake, juggling, not letting precious moments slip into busy blurred vision minus clarity.  With this clear seeing, may we all walk into our days.